Dean & DelucaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
FYI…This tasting note refers to the loose leaf version of this tea.
This selection has been sitting unopened in my tea cabinet for several months. I can’t believe I forgot it was there! No problemo (that’s Spanish). Let’s take it for a spin now!
When I opened the lid on the squat metal tin, the strong bergamot odor that burst forth was like bergamot pipe tobacco. That impression was probably related to the floral notes touted on the container. The India tea leaves were short and dark brown.
As is customary for me, I used the container’s instructions for brewing. That translated to three minutes at 212 degrees.
The brewed color was a golden molasses. The aroma reminded me of the freshly heated and molded plastic of a toy I once had.
The flavor of the first sip seemed rather odd to me. I had to roll it around my mouth for a while to grasp what I was tasting. I could definitely sense the bergamot but there was a strong additional aspect. At first I thought it was a bourbon flavor. Then, its true character materialized through the haze. Flowers! The taste was flowers!
I’m not crazy about floral flavors in teas but don’t mind them when they keep their place in the background. In this case, I found that the floral features completely overpowered the bergamot. This is not what I prefer in an Earl Grey tea. Call it something else and maybe I will lighten up. Also, the strong flowery scent completely hijacked my nostrils every time I raised the cup to my lips. No astringency was present but I didn’t find the flowery aftertaste pleasing.
My overall opinion of this tea is that it is smooth and robust enough to be likable, but not when it is disguised as an Earl Grey tea. In general, it is way too flowery for my personal preference, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out.
Flavors: Bergamot, Flowers
I had tried and liked Dean & Deluca’s regular Earl Grey tea so I was excited when I saw this Earl Grey Extra blend at a very good price in their store. I regularly drink a lot of Earl Grey from several different companies. I don’t discriminate. If it’s good, I’ll drink it.
When I opened the trademark Dean & Deluca’s metal tin, the unbrewed dark tea leaves had a potent bergamot aroma. I also immediately saw the Blue Mallow flowers that were peppered generously throughout the leaves.
I followed the Dean & Deluca brewing instructions and steeped the leaves for three minutes at 212 degrees. The finished liquor was a rich gold color. I could smell the bergamot in my cup with something…wait for it…EXTRA!
The overwhelming flavor in this tea is bergamot, but, not in a bad way. The attribute is clear, smooth, and astringency free. I assume the “extra” flavor is from the Blue Mallow flowers since I would characterize this feature as flowery, but, again, not in a bad way. I’ve never been crazy about flowery-tasting teas. In this case, though, the flowery taste compliments the bergamot perfectly and is not overbearing.
I thoroughly enjoyed my entire morning pot of this tea. The aftertaste from four cups was amazingly light and airy. I have just one complaint about it: This product seems to be NO LONGER AVAILABLE!
Flavors: Bergamot, Flowers
We were back at the local Dean & Deluca store this weekend when I noticed the Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea on the bargain rack. I succumbed to the temptation of purchasing it, in spite of my personal agreement to finish some of the teas I already have before cramming more into the cabinet.
The dark black leaves smelled rich and fresh when I opened the container. I followed the instructions on the can and brewed the tea for five minutes at 212 degrees.
The brewed aroma was faint and nondescript. The flavor was mild and slightly malty with a tad of Ceylon converging in the mix. I didn’t encounter the mild astringency that was advertised on the can. The aftertaste was also quiet and unremarkable.
The description on the container states that this is an afternoon tea. I drank it in the morning. My morning teas usually consist of the strongest and most jolting black blends in my arsenal. Could that be why I was less than wowed by this one? It wasn’t bad, but it won’t be moving to the front of the line in my morning rotation either.
I didn’t expect to buy tea during the holiday weekend and certainly not at Dean & Deluca’s. We just dropped in to impress visiting family members with the classy establishments residing in our neck of the woods. As I browsed around the store, it was a dream come true when I spotted the several high-end tea selections on the 50% off rack! Of course, I couldn’t resist and bought four different teas to try.
This first tea has Dean & Deluca’s own label on it. They might be phasing this one out, though, as I wasn’t able to find any information about it on Dean & Deluca’s website.
When I opened the round silver tin, the aroma of the black and gold-tipped leaves had the familiar rich and leathery Yunnan smell. I steeped the leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees as recommended on the label.
The brewed aroma was very mild. The color was a deep rusty gold.
My first few sips didn’t pick up robust flavor. As I belted down more and more from my cup, the signature leathery Yunnan taste with malty and slightly peppery accents began to flow through my taste buds.
This is an amiable tea. The flavor is a bit more benign than the teas I am accustomed to from the Yunnan Province, but there is nothing disagreeable or unpleasant about this selection. It is smooth and the aftertaste is mild and gentle. If you can find this tea at YOUR local Dean & Deluca store, it is definitely worth a try, particularly at the current very low price.
Flavors: Leather, Malt
This morning, I continued on my clearing out of the tea cupboard. My mom brought this Earl Grey back from Charlotte, NC, where she was visiting my uncle, for me. I remember it being a strong black with no Earl Grey flavors when I first had it. I brewed it for a shorter time this morning and it was much the same. The second brewing produced a cup of good strength.
Second brewing: 6 min 30 sec.
At $8 per ounce, this is not the most affordable tea, and plenty of similar and nearly as good pearl green varieties can be purchased at your local (advisably Chinese I suppose!) tea shop. This stuff, however, is pretty up there in terms of accessible gourmet. Fresh, subtle, and virtually impossible to brew a bad cup of.